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Mother working from home: less likely to change employers

Photo: Karl-Josef Hildenbrand/ dpa

The severe shortage of skilled workers has contributed to the fact that companies are increasingly thinking about the concerns of their employees' families. "I've been observing this development for some time," said social scientist Regina Ahrens in an interview with the German Press Agency. For more than 15 years, the certified business mediator has been researching and teaching on the topic of reconciling work and family life and advising companies in conflict situations as well as in the establishment and expansion of family-friendly measures. Many companies tried to attract skilled workers with these "corporate benefits".

Ann-Christin Bächmann from the Institute for Employment Research (IAB) also looked at the offer of family-friendly measures in companies. She assumes that companies offer family-friendly benefits "in order to appear more attractive to potential skilled workers and thus to be able to recruit well-trained employees more easily, as well as to bind employees to the company." Their analyses also showed that mothers are more likely to return to companies that offer family-friendly measures after the birth of a child. In addition, the "probability of a change of employer" is also lower in this case.

Team spirit required

Hotels and restaurants are among the sectors in which the shortage of skilled workers is particularly painfully felt – especially since the family-friendly organisation of work structures here requires special imagination. For example, the Landhotel Gut Thansen in Söderstorf in the Lüneburg Heath has offered bonuses of up to 11,000 euros for new cooks and service staff on late shifts, which will be paid out over three years. So far, he has been able to recruit at least two cooks and a waitress, reports Managing Director Philipp von Stumm.

Similar to Ahrens and Bächmann, Enno Schmoll, who teaches tourism economics at the Jade University of Applied Sciences in Wilhelmshaven, believes that soft factors such as working conditions and team spirit are more important. And how new employees are received at their place of work. "You have to give them the opportunity not only to work where others go on holiday, but also to live there," says Schmoll.

Recently, the four-day week with the same weekly working hours has also proven its worth here. Since then, companies that have introduced them have no longer had a shortage of workers, reports Schmoll. "It's still working, but it can't be implemented for everyone."